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May 26, 2009 - Image 9

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2009-05-26

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

9

Apainful
withdrawal

Slim Shady is up to his old
tricks again, but they just
don't stick on 'Relapse'
By ARTHUR VELEZ
For TheDaily
During the adolescences of today's col-
lege students, Eminem was a mainstay
in the world of popular
music. His early antics
as Slim Shady drew heat
from nearly every human
rights association in the
United States. At the same Relapse
time, the lewd nature of Aftermath/
his early releases - along Interscope
with his arrogance and
overall shock value -
made him an idol and a millionaire over-
night.
After three massively successful albums
and one of the more spectacular rags-to-
riches stories in recent musical memory,
the Detroit-based emcee settled down com-
fortably in 2005 as a behind-the-scenes,
Diddy-esque hip-hop mogul extremely con-

tent with his past accom- .
plishments and excited
for a future filled with all
of the accolades normally
reserved for rap royalty
From anoutsider's per-
spective, this would seem
to be a heavenly retire-
ment - one in which
Eminem would be able
to distance himself from
the day-to-day grind of a Staring contest. Go
contracted recording art-
ist and, in essence, settle down. But as we
all know, the antics of one Marshall Mathers
are far from predictable. Even though it's
due time for Eminem's resurgence, attempt-
ed comebacks, especially for musicians, are
always extremely trying endeavors.
With Relapse, Eminem has illuminated
what makes that second try so difficult.
On the album, we hear Eminem travel-
ing back in time to find his musical roots.
Instead of evolving as an artist, Eminem
just gathers the elements of what catapulted
him to superstardom in the first place. He
employs hip-hop mastermind and elder
statesman Dr. Dre to craft the beats and
revisits old lyrical muses such as his moth-

er, his drug-addled past and his passion for
insulting other celebrities; essentially, he is
writing music to fit the preexisting Em ste-
reotypes.
Try as he might, the songs just don't come
across as sincere. They seem more like a con-
trived attempt to coalesce with today's Top
40 music. His first single "Crack a Bottle" is
a number-one hit that runs off of the notori-
ety of co-contributors Dr. Dre and 50 Cent.
Eminem even dares to delve into the murky
waters of Autotune on "Bagpipes From
Baghdad."
At the same time, he returns to his shock-
and-awe roots on the berating ballad "My
Mom" but fails mainly because he is now 36

years old and the type of humor that made
him famous now sounds forced and out of
place. He has matured - just as most artists
do - but now longs for the guise of imma-
turity.
The album's silver lining is its production.
Dr. Dre is masterful as he lays the immacu-
late groundwork for what turns out to be
Eminem's annoying flow. Dre can concoct
the perfect beat for any rhythmic situation
with the fervor of someone who has recently
hit their creative peak, even though he has
been producing for over 25 years.
The production is stellar, but in the end,
Em's unrealized desire to recreate his past
leaves us longing for the Slim Shady of old.

FILM INTERVIEW
Wayans' World

I

By DAVID RIVA
ManagingArts Editor
Breakdancing babies and ballet-
induced deaths can only mean one
thing - the Wayans family is at it
again. Known for their outrageous
and offensive humor, the Wayans
have satirized everything from
"The Exorcist" to midgets. With
their latest movie "Dance Flick,"
they look toward the dance film
genre, mashing older standards
like "Footloose" and "Dirty Danc-
ing" with the latest wave of hip-
hop influenced hits including "Step
Up" and "You Got Served."
In a recent phone interview,
Shawn Wayans ("White Chicks")
explained that the reason for mak-
ing the film now wasn't based sole-
ly on the recent success of dance
films.
"You're not hanging every last
scene on (those) movie(s) and it's
really just an excuse for you to
have a good time with a particular
genre of film.... The parodies that

don't do it that great try to be too
topical," he said.
Shawn Wayans helped write
the textbook for the modern
spoof movie with "Scary Movie"
and "Scary Movie 2." These films
parodied the horror genre and
led to many imitators including
"Not Another Teen Movie," "Date
Movie" and "Epic Movie," all sim-
ilarly playing on the stereotypes
and conventions of their chosen
genre.
There's not much respect given
to the original movies that are
spoofed, but "Whatever movie
you're making fun of, you have to
love," explained Shawn. "You also
have to know what's funny about
them. ... You handle it with class,
that's all."
One such scene in "Dance Flick"
shows Megan (newcomer Sho-
shana Bush) and Thomas (Damon
Wayans Jr., TV's "My Wife and
Kids"), both aspiring dancers, dis-
cussing Megan's dream of attend-
See WAYANS, Page 10

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